Sing and See: Pitch Matching Practice Tool

Sing and See: Pitch Matching Practice Tool

equipping vocal students with an effective practice tool I was recently engaged to teach vocals / singing to three fabulous pre-adolescent kids. At our first lesson, I was primarily interested in assessing what needed work. Emerging quickly as the front runner was pitch matching (the ability to hear a note and then sing it accurately). As I sat at the piano and played note after note, asking them to reproduce it, my students responded well to my feedback – “up a couple notes, down a couple… bring that up just a bit…” but I worried. All a teacher can do is show you what to learn and how to learn it – a student ultimately teaches themselves. How on earth could they practice effectively without me there to tell them how their pitch was doing? So I went home and did some searching, hoping to find an application that could help. Enter Sing and See – at $49 USD. It provides a window with real time pitch placement feedback, a keyboard for playing tones and a record and playback feature that works with any standard computer microphone. In the weeks since I’ve assigned my students practice work with Sing and See – move up and down the scale, move in semi-tones, play a note and sing it… and they have applied themselves diligently with admirable results. I highly recommend this application if you’ve got students (or yourself) with this...
Whiskey In the Jar

Whiskey In the Jar

traditional, recorded March 2010 WhiskeyInTheJar.mp3 As I was a goin’ over the far famed Kerry mountains I met with Captain Farrell and his money he was counting I first produced my pistol and then produced my rapier Saying “Stand and deliver” for I am a bold deceiver Musha ring dumma do damma da whack fol the daddyo whack fol the daddyo There’s whiskey in the jar He counted out his money and it made a pretty penny I put it in my pocket and I gave it to my Jenny She sighed and she swore that she never would deceive me But the devil take the woman for she never can be easy I went into my chamber, all for to take a slumber I dreamt of gold and jewels and for sure it was no wonder But Jenny drew me charges and she filled them up with water She sent for Captain Farrell to be ready for the slaughter T’was early in the morning, before I rose to travel Up comes a band of footmen and likewise Captain Farrell I then produced me pistol for she stole away me rapier but I couldn’t shoot the water, so a prisoner I was taken If anyone can aid me it’s me brother in the army If I but knew his station be it Cork or in Killarney And if he’d come and join me, we’d go rovin’ in Killkenny I swear he’d treat me fairer than my darlin’ sportin’ Jenny Now there’s some take delight in the carriages a rollin’ and others take delight in the hurling and the bowlin’...

Microsoft Live Writer 2011 – A Love Affair

a cool tool for bloggers Every now and then something happens and your life is forever changed. I suppose this is usually encountering that special someone and sliding down a silver slope into bliss. For craftspeople and tech geeks, sometimes it’s just finding the right tool for a job you do often. The day I was introduced to Microsoft Live Writer was just such a day, and it was renewed with the release of the 2011 version. Live Writer is a freebie blog authoring tool from Microsoft that works with pretty much any blogging technology out there. Equipped with dozens of plug ins (my favorite slides a flickr photo into the post with a couple of mouse clicks). You can include photos, video and maps, slide them around, wrap text around them and apply a bevy of pre-set styles – even give a graphic a little tilt (as shown by my ink to the right). The application connects to your blog, downloads the blog’s theme (some themes play better than others), category and tag lists, and you then work on your post offline. Once you’re ready to roll, you upload your post as a draft (and it’ll upload photos automatically to your site if need be – some configuration may be required). Once uploaded, you can inspect it and hit publish from the admin panel. One tip to mention… I cannot find, on any menu or ribbon thingy how to open entries on an existing blog – something I relied on with the previous version – but all is made clear if you hit CNTL-O (keyboard shortcut for “open”)...